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History Study Time Travelers: The Early Nineteenth Century Review by Kendra Fletcher

Amy Pak
Homeschool in the Woods
3997 Roosevelt Highway
Holley, NY 14470

History is one of my favorite subjects to study and to teach, but I know many homeschooling parents don't feel as passionate about history as I do. Those old texts we had to crack open as kids (as well as some of the texts available to homeschoolers today) don't do anything to ignite a fire and a real interest in the things of the past.

Enter Amy Pak, talented graphic designer and experienced homeschool mom. Amy's beautiful history products make history look interesting and appealing. Her History Study Time Travelers series is simply the cream of the crop, offering organized and accessible activities that are beautiful and interesting all at the same time.

History Study Time Travelers: The Early Nineteenth Century includes 25 lessons covering Presidents, Statehoods, the Growth of the Nation, Innovations, the War of 1812, Mountain Men, Natives, Pioneers, the Westward Movement, the Mexican-American War, the Erie Canal, and Barbary Pirates.

Truly, one could fill a semester with the subjects and activities provided. Written text is included, and activities cover creative writing, recipes of the era, notebook timelines, fact-file cards, penmanship pages, file folder games, notebooking activities, and three-dimensional projects (such as making a field book, a coonskin cap, a pioneer cabin, a serape poncho, a song book, and more). There are cornhusk dolls to be made, wheat weaving to try, piece quilting, pop-ups, layered books, and a lapbook! And for a final hoorah, a chuck wagon dinner brings your study to an exciting and delicious finish. Amy has even included printable invitations, menus, and place cards. Great fun!

Each History Study Time Travelers unit comes in CD-ROM format, suitable for both PC and Macintosh. Everything you need is right there and ready to print out for your individual family's use. (You'll need to get permission and pay a school/co-op licensing fee if you plan to use History Study Time Travelers: The Early Nineteenth Century with a group larger than your own students.) The CD includes each lesson's text pages, project overview pages, and the masters for projects. Photos and drawings illustrate the directions for each project. Love that! In addition to the instructions needed to complete each project, there are teacher helps, resource lists, teacher keys, and a "guide-at-a-glance."

Amy's drawings and projects are so beautifully rendered, you'll feel as if you've created something really special. My children are drawn to Amy's History Study Time Traveler projects because they know they're making something useful and fun; coonskin caps and cornhusk dolls held huge appeal in our home. The time we spent on projects (like panning for gold) made them want to learn more about this period in history. Little rabbit trails of discussion took over our history study time because their interest was piqued and they felt like they were living history. I dare say, few dusty, dry history texts can produce the same effect!

Product review by Kendra Fletcher, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2009